108. Memorandum for the File by the Director of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Smith)1

Before dinner on the 19th of October, the Secretary asked me to join him and Gromyko to talk about SALT.2 The Secretary said that we were serious about SALT, that we had tabled a specific proposal, that there was no linkage between SALT and other political issues. Gromyko said they, too, were serious about SALT. He said if SALT was not linked to other political problems, that meant that other political problems were not linked to it (which seemed a rather obvious statement). The Secretary confirmed this.

Gromyko said they would prefer a broader agreement, but if we wanted to go for a narrow agreement they would cooperate.

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Gromyko questioned whether making speeches in plenaries was the most efficient way to negotiate, although he noted that great skill was being put into the preparation of speeches.

I told him that I had stressed to Semenov our wish to have more private meetings and that they would not find us blocking any such proposal.

Afterwards, in the open session, Gromyko said he had a feeling that both Semenov and Smith would prefer to switch to Vienna in the winter and Helsinki in the summer. I agreed.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 383, ACDA Files: FRC 383–97–0010, Box 1, Director’s Files, Smith/Farley Chronological File, Box 1, SmithRogers Correspondence, October 1970–November 1971. Secret; Exdis. A handwritten notation on the memorandum reads: “GS gave Dubs (Soviet Affairs) oral report.”
  2. On October 14 Smith prepared a memorandum for the file of a conversation with Rogers that day about what the Secretary would discuss with Gromyko during their talks at the United Nations. According to Smith’s memorandum, Rogers made the following comments: “He felt the President was not clear in his mind as to what our attitude toward the Soviets should be, and that perhaps an approach to Gromyko that sounded somewhat soft would not appeal to the President. He felt that the talks with Gromyko would be desultory.” (Ibid.)